Asia a priority for Canada after U.S. delays Keystone
By Rachelle Younglai and David Lawder
HONOLULU Nov 13 (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he will step up efforts to supply energy to Asia after Washington delayed a decision on whether to approve a new oil pipeline from Canada to the United States.
In a subtle warning to Washington, Harper told Chinese President Hu Jintao that providing energy to Asia was an important priority for Canada.
"This does underscore the necessity of Canada making sure that we are able to access Asia markets for our energy products," Harper told reporters on Sunday at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders' meeting in Hawaii.
"That will be an important priority of our government going forward and I indicated that yesterday to the president of China."
Citing health, safety and environmental concerns, President Barack Obama's administration said it would now study a possible new route for TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL pipeline.
The delay could end up killing the $7 billion project altogether if supporters back out or the administration is unable to chart a new route.
Canada is already the largest foreign supplier of oil, natural gas, electricity and uranium to the United States. The proposed pipeline has the capacity to move 700,000 barrels of crude produced from the Alberta tar sands to refineries in Texas.
But the pipeline would have crossed an ecologically sensitive region in Nebraska, causing thousands to protest and derailing Canada's plans. Continued...